Jayden Montgomery is a life-long Iowa Football fan. His father, Jerry Montgomery, is a program alumnus. His mother, Natalie Montgomery, is an alumnus of the school’s volleyball program.
The younger Montgomery dreamed of playing for the Hawkeyes. It becomes a reality next month when he arrives on campus as a member of the 2022 freshman class.
“I’m more excited than ever,” Jayden told HN. “I just scheduled my classes for the summer and fall semesters so things are starting to feel very real. I made the trip up to a few of the spring practices, and I can’t wait to get into the program.”
Iowa offered Jayden (5-11, 225) a scholarship last June. He committed shortly thereafter. There was never a doubt he wanted to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
He and Rock Valley (IA) High’s Landyn Van Kekerix are the only incoming freshmen projected to play linebacker. Jayden is recovering from a knee injury suffered last season and is almost back to full strength.
“I have been in the weight room working to get stronger every day. I’ve been doing lot of therapy from my knee injury to get back to full-go for summer workouts,” he said.
The Hawkeyes return their three starting linebackers – Jack Campbell, Seth Benson and Jestin Jacobs. Jayden sees that as a positive.
“First off, I can’t wait to get to work and compete. Second off, I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible from the three veterans while I can. These guys all know the defense well and there is nobody better to learn from,” he said.
Jayden benefits from a father that played high-level college ball and in the NFL. Jerry, the Green Bay Packers defensive line coach and run game coordinator, also can provide his son with perspective from the coaching side.
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Jayden already understands it’s a process. That’s what he’s focusing on for his freshman season.
“I’m looking to continue to get stronger and faster. There is no better place to get developed than Iowa. I’m looking to learn as much of the defense as possible and, like I mentioned before, learn from the older guys in the linebacker room,” he said.
Since committing to Iowa, Jayden has built a bond with position coach Seth Wallace. He’s prepared for what’s expected of him.
“I have a good relationship with coach Wallace. We talk often. I love coach’s energy with his players. He always brings the juice and expects a lot from the linebackers at all times,” Jayden said.
Montgomery also arrives having bonded with members of his recruiting class.
“I have a good relationship with a lot of my class. Through recruiting visits and spring practice, I’ve met a majority of the guys,” he said.
Montgomery plans on rooming with Illinois receiver Jacob Bostick this coming season. They report to campus June 12. The ’22 class has goals.
“We want to win championships. We believe we have the type of class and guys to achieve that. We want to continue the great culture at Iowa,” Montgomery said.
Jayden missed most of his senior season with the knee injury. He earned unanimous first-team all-conference and all-region honors as a junior, and was first-team all-conference as a sophomore. He was a member of Bay Port’s honor roll four years in a row.
You can watch Jayden’s junior highlights HERE.